The best and worst places to retire

Dorset has best quality of life for over 65s

Updated: 
best places to retire

Dorset is the best place to retire in England and Wales according to a new survey from Prudential.

Pensioners here were deemed to have the best quality of life in retirement based on the firm's latest Quality of Retirement Index.

In contrast Kingston upon Hull, Nottingham and the London borough of Barking and Dagenham were the worst places to retire.

Prudential looked at five key factors that it felt indicated a good quality of life for the over 65s. These included home ownership, good health, marital status, the propensity to travel and provision of ongoing unpaid care.

It used Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2011 Census data to determine the best and worst areas in England and Wales. In total 174 local authorities were ranked using a scoring system out of 50.

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The 20 best places to retire

Here are the top 20 places to retire according to Prudential's Quality of Retirement Index.
RankLocal authorityScore% retired home owners% in good health% provision of unpaid care% married/ in same sex couple% pensioners with passports
1Dorset4682%57%12%50%76%
2Solihull4482%52%12%47%77%
3The Vale of Glamorgan4282%49%12%47%77%
3North Somerset4283%55%11%48%75%
3Buckinghamshire4280%59%10%49%80%
6Monmouthshire4180%51%13%49%72%
6Poole4181%53%11%46%77%
6South Gloucestershire4183%55%11%50%73%
6Hampshire4181%57%10%49%78%
6Wokingham4186%61%9%53%82%
11Devon4081%55%11%48%71%
11East Sussex4081%54%11%45%77%
11West Sussex4081%56%10%46%78%
11Rutland4077%60%10%52%76%
11Surrey4082%59%10%47%82%
16Isle of Wight3983%52%12%46%70%
16Leicestershire3981%53%11%49%72%
18Torbay3882%50%12%44%72%
18Herefordshire, County of3878%54%11%49%68%
18Cheshire East3881%54%11%48%72%



Source: Prudential

Dorset was found to be the most desirable area to retire, achieving an overall score of 46 out of a possible 50 points.

The coastal county, which is home to over 104,000 penioners, was ranked in the top 10% of all English and Welsh local authority areas for two of Prudential's core quality of life in retirement indicators – property ownership and marriage.

The second best retirement location was Solihull in the West Midlands (44), where a smaller population of around 40,000 over 65s live.

Joint third were Buckinghamshire, North Somerset and the Vale of Glamorgan (42), which respectively have about 84,000, 43,000 and 23,000 residents of retirement age.

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The 20 worst places to retire

Here are the worst 20 places to retire according to Prudential's Quality of Retirement Index.
RankLocal authorityScore% retired home owners% in good health% provision of unpaid care% married/ in same sex couple% pensioners with passports
174Kingston upon Hull, City of853%38%9%38%62%
174Nottingham862%39%9%35%67%
174Barking and Dagenham858%37%9%33%68%
171Manchester950%35%8%30%70%
170Newcastle upon Tyne1159%40%9%37%68%
170Tower Hamlets1127%32%8%31%80%
168Newham1246%32%8%33%81%
168Islington1231%40%8%27%83%
168Hackney1227%35%7%26%85%
165Liverpool1360%37%11%34%70%
165Hartlepool1365%39%11%41%65%
163Sandwell1462%36%11%40%62%
163Salford1460%40%10%37%70%
163Waltham Forest1464%41%8%36%78%
163Lewisham1453%42%8%30%78%
163Southwark1432%42%7%28%79%
163Lambeth1441%42%7%27%85%
157South Tyneside1558%39%11%39%66%
157Gateshead1561%39%11%41%66%
157Leicester1564%40%9%39%72%

Source: Prudential

Kingston upon Hull, Nottingham and Barking and Dagenham were found to be the worst places to retire by Prudential with a dismal score of just 8 out of 50.

These areas scored particularly badly for health, provision of care and home ownership.

Compared to Dorset the population of retirees here was much lower with Kingston upon Hull and Nottingham home to around 36,000 while Barking and Dagenham had just 20,000.

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How the best and worst compare

Overall in the survey of 174 areas, Wokingham had the highest level of property ownership amongst the over 65s (86%) and the best level of health in retirement (61%).

In contrast pensioners living in Tower Hamlets and Hackney in London had the lowest overall percentage of home ownership (27%), while those in Merthyr Tydfil, Newham and Tower Hamlets were found to have the worst health (32%).

Over 65s in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea were the most geared up to travel as 93% of pensioners had a valid passport compared to 59% in Gwynedd in North Wales.

Over half of retirees (54%) in the Isles of Scilly were married or in a same sex relationship compared to just over a quarter (26%) in Hackney..

Pensioners in Neath Port Talbot had the highest provision of unpaid care (15%).

In contrast the lowest provision of care (7%) was found in nine London boroughs including; Wandsworth, Lambeth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Westminster, Hackney and Haringey.

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